Monthly Archives: January 2021

How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?

How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?

If you buy a new or late-model used car, chances are you’ll change vehicles before you need to change the spark plugs. How long spark plugs last varies by manufacturer and vehicle, but on many vehicles today, they should be good for 100,000 or more miles. Some vehicles, though, will have shorter intervals, particularly performance and luxury models.

Related: Video: How to Find a Mechanic You Can Trust

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That longevity is a product of the electronic controls that precisely manage the air-fuel mixture and when the spark plugs ignite that mixture, as well as improvements to the plugs themselves. The spark plugs in many vehicles today have iridium or platinum tips on the electrodes (the parts that transmit the spark) that last longer than conventional plugs with copper and nickel-alloy electrodes.

How Often Do You Need to Change Spark Plugs?
Because manufacturers use different kinds of spark plugs, the best guide as to when they should be replaced is the maintenance schedule that comes with every vehicle either as part of the owner’s manual or as a separate guide (they can also often be found online).

For example, Toyota recommends changing the plugs every 120,000 miles on a Corolla, RAV4 or 4Runner, but every 60,000 miles on an 86 coupe, which was developed with Subaru and uses a Subaru engine. Ford advises to change the plugs at 100,000 miles on an F-150, Explorer and other models under “normal” driving conditions. If a vehicle frequently tows a trailer or spends a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic or idling, then Ford suggests installing fresh plugs every 60,000 miles. The plugs on BMWs such as the X3 and 3 Series should be changed every 60,000 miles. On some Mercedes-Benz models, it’s as frequent as every 36,000 miles, but on others, the intervals are longer.

Spark plug replacement used to be an integral part of periodic engine “tuneups” that 50 years ago were necessary as often as every 5,000 miles. Now, though, there is no such thing as a tuneup. The only reason to replace plugs more often than recommended is if the engine is hard to start, idles roughly, hesitates, misfires, uses more fuel than usual or if the check engine light comes on. Even under those circumstances, the cause could lie elsewhere, so it’s better to have a technician diagnose the problem instead of reflexively replacing the plugs.

After 75,000 miles or more, spark plug electrodes might be worn or there might be light deposits on them, but the electronic engine controls will adjust the air-fuel mix and spark timing to compensate, so there probably will be only a slight loss of performance or fuel economy, if any. Unless the engine is performing poorly, replacing the plugs ahead of schedule might not produce dramatic improvements and the cost could outweigh the benefit.
When manufacturers say that maintenance such as replacing spark plugs should be done only every 100,000 miles or longer, many vehicle owners think of them as lifetime parts. However, there are limits even for iridium-tipped plugs, and some manufacturers, such as Toyota, warn that not replacing them on schedule can void the emissions warranty.

Instructions to Get Tar Off a Car

Instructions to Get Tar Off a Car

Running a vehicle through a programmed vehicle wash or doing it by hand frequently doesn’t eliminate street tar — that gooey, dark stuff that gathers on wheels, guards and other vehicle parts. How would you securely get this troublesome wreck off of your vehicle? Here are a few alternatives for items you can purchase, and some you may as of now have at home.

Related: Tips for Washing Your Car in Winter

Bug and Tar Remover

A few splash and fluid items that are designated “bug and tar remover” are accessible in car parts stores and somewhere else and can dispose of tar. These items are showered or scoured on the tar with a microfiber fabric. They frequently require a great deal of real effort or different applications, particularly if the tar has been there quite a while.

Bug and tar remover can likewise eliminate modest quantities of paint from when another vehicle catchs yours or you rub a guard against a painted fence post or carport entryway outline (however it will not eliminate any scratches).

Different Products

Some vehicle detailers and body shops prescribe utilizing WD-40 to eliminate tar. Despite the fact that many think WD-40 is an ointment, it is a dissolvable that can disintegrate and relax tar, bugs and bird droppings.

The prescribed method with WD-40 is to shower it on the spots or on a microfiber material, let it sit for around 10 minutes and afterward clear it off with dry fabric. The quantity of uses and measure of scouring required will be higher on detects that are bigger and have been there for quite a long time or months.

Different solvents may function too, however prior to utilizing them ensure they are appropriate for use on auto paint. Substances, for example, mineral spirits and veneer thinners will eliminate tar yet may likewise eliminate the clearcoat finish or harm the paint.

In the event that nothing from what was just mentioned items is convenient, peanut butter can be utilized after all other options have been exhausted. Rub the peanut butter on the tar, let it sit for 10 minutes or more, and afterward take it off with a clean microfiber material. Try not to anticipate that peanut butter should in a split second produce extraordinary outcomes; this isn’t what it’s made for however it could help.

Regardless of what sort of cleaner is utilized, the territory ought to be washed subsequently and waxed to ensure the completion.

Which Cars Have Free Maintenance for 2021?

Which Cars Have Free Maintenance for 2021?

Ordinary car support is fundamental for dealing with your significant speculation, just as to safe driving and to protecting your guarantee inclusion — and numerous new vehicles offer it for nothing, in any event through an underlying period.

Related: Making Sense of New-Car Warranties

A break on the expense to keep up your new vehicle could be significantly more important. An examination by AAA found that for 2019, the most recent year accessible, normal support and fix costs per mile driven were up 8.9% versus 2018, with the greatest expenses borne by proprietors of progressively famous SUVs and trucks.

What’s remembered for such free support programs changes generally. A few projects cover only one planned visit, while others incorporate a couple of oil changes and tire turns to all booked support for quite a long while. You need to peruse the fine print for the particular vehicle to be certain what you are getting or regardless of whether you are — a few producers offer the free consideration just to purchasers in specific business sectors or locales. The rundown underneath counts automakers’ free help program. Likewise, a few vendors additionally have their own neighborhood offers. Also, a few producers, like Mercedes-Benz, offer prepaid plans that will cover all planned administrations for a selection of years at a value you can wrap into the expense of the vehicle.

Here are brands that offer some type of free planned upkeep for their 2021 new vehicles (barring extraordinary and hyper-extravagance brands):

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo covers one booked support visit whenever utilized inside the principal year and just for the Giulia and Stelvio SUV. The 4C Spider sports vehicle isn’t covered by the offer.

BMW and Mini

BMW Group’s BMW and Mini brands cover three years or 36,000 miles of consistently planned upkeep for 2021 vehicles — for the first purchaser as it were.

Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC

All new 2021 GM vehicles from the four U.S. brands accompany a free previously planned support visit inside one year.

Portage and Lincoln

These Ford Motor brands have nontraditional prizes plans connected to the brands’ applications — like other retail steadfastness programs — that offer, basically, a free support plan. Focuses are procured with the vehicle buy just as with other spending at businesses. Purchasers of new or confirmed used cars get an underlying can of remunerations focuses that they can decide to use with the expectation of complimentary support. The underlying focuses for Fords change by powertrain (gas, diesel, electric) and for Lincoln by trim levels. The 42,000 focuses that accompany another Ford fuel controlled vehicle would, for instance, cover the initial three planned visits, (for example, through the 40,000-mile administration period for a 2021 Explorer). Independently, purchasers of Lincoln’s model-year 2021 premium-trim Black Label vehicles get a selective bundle of advantages that incorporates four free planned assistance visits inside four years or 50,000 miles.

Hyundai and Genesis

Hyundai and its Genesis extravagance brand offer three years or 36,000 miles of free routinely booked upkeep for every one of the 2021 models (barring the Hyundai Nexo power device vehicle) for the first proprietor. The expansion of the free upkeep program to Hyundai-badged vehicles is new and begun in February.


Puma is the boss for free upkeep. All Jaguars accompany all planned support visits covered for a very long time or 60,000 miles.


All trim degrees of model-year 2021 Jeep vehicles get three booked support visits whenever utilized inside three years of procurement just as an excursion interference advantage as a component of the Jeep Wave devotion program. Beforehand, the free administrations were restricted to certain trim levels.


Kia gives three years or 37,500 miles of free booked upkeep for its upscale Cadenza and K900 cars.


All new Lexus vehicles offer the initial two booked upkeep visits free as long as one year or 10,000 miles.


The Volkswagen Group execution brand offers a free initially booked upkeep visit, which would be expected by one year or 10,000 miles.


Most trim degrees of model-year 2021 Ram pickup trucks get three free booked support visits whenever utilized inside two years just as an excursion interference advantage — yet the offer is acceptable just for Ram purchasers in Texas, a seriously serious truck market.


Subaru offers two years or 24,000 miles of free booked support for model-year 2021 vehicles, however just in specific business sectors, which are for the most part in Sun Belt states where the basically all-wheel-drive automaker has a more modest serious presence. In different areas, Subaru doesn’t offer free upkeep.


All Toyota vehicles accompany two years or 25,000 miles of routinely planned free upkeep.


Every one of the 2021 Volkswagen models offer two years or 20,000 miles of routinely booked free upkeep.


Volvo incorporates free support for a very long time or 30,000 miles, which is fundamentally the initial three assistance visits.